What is seasonal employment?

Seasonal employment is a type of temporary employment in which the person works during certain times of the year. It is typically part-time, but there are also full-time, seasonal positions. Businesses that open only during certain parts of the year, like summer camps, hire seasonal employees. Other examples of companies that hire seasonal employees are those that need extra help during peak times, such as the holiday season.

How long is seasonal employment?

The exact length of time a seasonal job lasts depends on various factors, including the employer, the industry, the location, and the time of year. Jobs may range from a few weeks to multiple months. However, they will never include year-round positions.

How does seasonal employment benefit employers, and why should HR leaders care about it?

Seasonal employment has benefits for both employers and employees. Organizations with higher labor needs during part of the year can save costs by only having people on the payroll when they are needed. 

How does seasonal employment benefit employees?

Seasonal employment is a good option for people struggling to find a full-time job or people who need a little extra income. It can also give workforce newcomers a way to get their foot in the door, gain experience, and prove themselves to an employer that might hire them permanently. 

What can HR leaders do to manage seasonal employment?

Understanding the benefits of different employee types, including seasonal employees, can help HR leaders properly hire, manage, and compensate seasonal employees. As such, HR leaders should be familiar with the Fair Labor Standards Act’s guidelines about seasonal employees and relevant standards:

  • Companies must pay seasonal employees at least the federal minimum wage or the local minimum wage, whichever is higher.
  • Seasonal employees who work more than 40 hours a week are entitled to overtime pay at 1.5 times their regular pay.
  • Children ages 14 and 15 can only work limited hours in permitted occupations. 16- and 17-year-olds are not permitted to work in hazardous occupations as defined by the Secretary of Labor.
  • Seasonal employees are subject to the same tax withholding laws as other employee types.

Additionally, each organization’s seasonal employment policy and agreements should clearly communicate information such as:

  • Whether the seasonal worker is part-time or full-time
  • What benefits the seasonal worker is eligible for, if any
  • When seasonal employment ends

How can companies maintain their company culture with seasonal employees?

Even though seasonal employees may only work during specific times of the year, it’s important to let them know they’re just as much a part of the team as their full-time counterparts.

Building and maintaining good relationships with your seasonal employees is vital. It starts with giving them an excellent onboarding experience and all the benefits they’re entitled to–plus some extra perks to make them feel welcome, valued, and part of the larger team from their first day.

These positive experiences will motivate them to come back year after year and talk up your company, helping with future recruitment and company branding efforts.

Why should seasonal employment be a part of modern HR strategy?

The modern organization is flexible and understands that non-traditional work arrangements may sometimes be the best way to meet its needs. Modern HR professionals need to be open to hiring seasonal employees and other employee types to support business agility and meet companies’ evolving needs.